OBSI Governance Review – Request for Public Comment

January 31, 2023

Download PDF:

OBSI Governance Review – Request for Public Comment

Letter Summary:

The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) is seeking input from stakeholders and the public in relation to its organizational governance. This consultation is focused on understanding how OBSI’s board can best ensure that it has the opportunity to consider the perspectives of stakeholders with financial service industry expertise and consumer advocacy expertise in its decision making. OBSI is committed to ensuring a deep knowledge of these perspectives at the board level because they are crucial to ensuring that the organization is able to continue to fulfill its mission of helping to ensure a fair, effective and trusted financial services sector.

Overview of the Council’s Comments:

The CAC supports enhancements to OBSI’s governance structure, with a view to ensuring diverse industry and financial consumer voices are heard in pursuit of its organizational mandates. OBSI should adopt a skills-based nominations structure whereby directors are nominated through a process requiring well defined skills and attributes, rather than a process that requires the nomination by or inclusion of representatives from any particular industry or consumer group. This would mitigate the risk that directors’ independence and loyalty to OBSI are perceived as being compromised by a conflicting duty to a particular constituency or industry segment.

To be clear, pursuit of these reforms is no reason to delay or defer action on the long-stated legislative and regulatory intention to grant OBSI binding authority and sole recognition over securities and banking-related disputes.